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I'm at a stupid party, the kind where you only know three people, and one of them has left with his girlfriend, one of them has got lucky and is in a dark upstairs bedroom, and the other is asleep in their own puke. The lights are low and the air smells of dope and sweat. There's pumping techno music from a downstairs room and the walls are an unhealthy yellow like the skin of a junkie.

She's with me and we're talking, but then she leaves and I'm alone here. I start talking to another girl, and I'm kind of flirting with her, wondering if I'll kiss her, in a tired, stupid way, unconscious of my life and what I want and what I'm supposed to be doing. The party fades out and suddenly I'm alone on the deck of a ship at night, with stars tiny and hard as sparks of glitter all above me, and the freezing cold rush of the waves.

It's the Dublin-Holyhead ferry, a journey I've made so many times, and sometimes I come here just to hang out and breathe the air, and that strange, lonely, peaceful atmosphere on the decks of ships. Too late, I realize that the ferry has sailed far away from the coast, and I have no way to get back home. I know she'll be worried about me and I don't know what to do.

When we get to the far shore I am just about to call her when she calls me first, and I tell her what happened. We're both puzzled, as if no explanation either of us could come up with can explain how I ended up here after the party. I go back on to the ferry with my return ticket and wait for the journey home, the sky bright and clear and windy this time. I am wondering why this is my life, and not that of another.

I was with Alan. We were walking along a lakeshore, amazed at how volatile the waves were and wondering how we weren't being swept away. We looked at each other and knew we had to make an appointment with Him - whoever He was; Destiny, Death, Dream - all of these things thrown into one being. We came to a run-down building with boarded-up windows and doors. People were dying in the streets from mysterious illnesses. The world was miserable. We climbed the stairs, encountering some friends of ours, but they evaporated in mid-conversation. We continued our climb up to the roof, and found Him sitting Indian-style on the floor, with three blank cards in front of Him. I remembered our previous meetings, where He asked us to draw the Truth on other blank cards; to draw what we felt, and what we knew in our hearts would happen soon.

He handed the cards to Alan and said, "You need to draw three things: Something she has, something you have, and something you both have together. And don't make it too easy." Alan took the cards and began to draw on them, looking to me for approval. We seemed to communicate without speaking.

When he was finished, Alan handed the cards back one-by-one. The first card was a picture of himself and another woman. Alan said, "I have shame and guilt." The second card was a picture of me sitting against a wall with my hands covering my face. Alan said, "She has pain." And the third card was blackness. Alan said, "Together we have peace... in death."

He seemed very pleased, but Alan and I were nervous. We pleaded with Him to help us change our destiny because we didn't want to die. He smiled and said, "You drew those pictures yourselves, because you knew they were true. You cannot change what is to be."

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